Mostly Mantids and Some Woolybears, 09-27-19

Around 6:30, I headed out to the Cosumnes River Preserve for a walk.  It was overcast and chilly all day, in the 70’s.  A twenty degree drop from Wednesday. So, I actually had to wear a light jacket. 

As I got closer to the preserve, I drove down Bruceville and Desmond Road to see if there was anything to see there.  The fields were full of cattle. In one of the fields I could see Turkey Vultures gathered on the ground. Between two adults was a dark-headed young one.  They were so far away that I couldn’t see what they were eating, but it’s always a treat to see these large birds so nearby.

A juvenile Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura, with two adults.

When I got to the preserve, the gate wasn’t open at the boardwalk, so I parked on the street.  I wasn’t really expecting to see much of anything.  Folks had mentioned that the Sandhill Cranes were returning to the area, but I thought it was still too early to see them.  One or two flew overhead, and then I saw a small flock flying later during my walk, but none of them landed anywhere near where I was. 

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Most of the fields and “wetlands” are still entirely dry, but I did find a few birds around a shallow pool along the boardwalk. It looks like, too, that they’ve cut down a lot of the high grass and tules, so when the water is pumped back in, viewing of the waterfowl should be a bit easier.  Saw a few different sparrow species including white-Crowned Sparrows, Golden-Crowned Sparrows and Song Sparrows. The Song Sparrows as somewhat “residential”, but the White- and Golden-Crowned Sparrows migrate in and out of the area. So, it was nice to see them back again.

And I also saw a very small smattering of duck species: Mallards, Green-Winged Teals and Northern Pintails. The Pintails always seem to migrate in before most of the other species, so it wasn’t too surprising to see a few of them out there today.

While I was watching a couple of Greater Yellowlegs, I saw something moving on the surface of the water. It was backlit, so I never got a good look at it, but I did get a video snippet.  I think maybe it was a bird or a vole or something that was dead, and little fish were pulling at from underneath making it bob and propelling it across the water.  So weird.  What do you think?

I found a few galls, including some I hadn’t found yet this year: the galls of the Hairy Gall Wasp, Sphaeroteras trimaculosum.  They’re sometimes called “woolybears” because when they line up on the backside of a leaf, they look like woolybear caterpillars. 

This is an interesting gall in that they seem to show up in the late part of the season, and they take two years to mature.  They form on the leaves of Valley Oaks and stay on the leaves when the leaves fall off the tree in the winter.  Then the larvae inside the galls stay there, on the ground in the leaf litter for two years before the wasps emerge.  I always seem to find them on the younger smaller Valley oaks, and on the leaves closest to the ground.

What I saw the most of today, though, was Praying Mantises, greens one and tan ones. They seemed to be everywhere in the branches of the sandbar willow trees along the boardwalk.  Their bodies are the same shape and relative size of the leaves on the trees, but once I managed to see one of the mantises, I suddenly saw lots of them.       

Once you see one mantis amid the willow leaves, you can see more… Can you spot the one in this photo?

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed home. 

Species List:

  1. Ash Flower Gall Mite, Eriophyes fraxinivorus
  2. Bindweed, Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis
  3. Bush Sunflower, Encelia californica
  4. California Dancer Damselfly, Argia agrioides
  5. California Dock, Rumex californicus
  6. California Praying Mantis, Stagmomantis californica (smallest 2-2.5 inches) Can be brown, yellow or green
  7. California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
  8. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  9. Charolais Cattle, Bos Taurus var. Charolais
  10. Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
  11. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  12. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  13. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  14. Green-Winged Teal, Anas carolinensis
  15. Hairy Gall Wasp, Sphaeroteras trimaculosum 
  16. Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  17. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  18. Lavender Dancer Damselfly, Argia hinei [female]
  19. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  20. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  21. Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
  22. Paper Wasp, European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula
  23. Pennyroyal, Penny Royal, Mentha pulegium
  24. Prickly Lettuce, Lactuca serriola
  25. Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
  26. Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis
  27. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
  28. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  29. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  30. Water Smartweed, Persicaria amphibiaI
  31. Western Spotted Orbweaver Spider, Neoscona oaxacensis
  32. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  33. Willow Pinecone Gall midge, Rabdophaga strobiloides
  34. Willow Stem Gall Wasp, Euura exiguae

Lots of Sulphur Shelf, 09-24-19

I headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my normal weekly volunteer trail walking gig. 

Again, there wasn’t a while lot to see today, although I did get to see quite a few deer. As I was watching a group of deer – a doe, a fawn, and a spike buck – I can see out of the corner of my eye a Cooper’s Hawk flying low between the trees. It lands on this branch, flies low over the ground, swoops up onto a different branch in a different tree, but it’s always in the shadow so I can’t get a good photo of it.  That area must’ve been its general hunting ground.

There was lots of Sulphur Shelf fungus out, including some pretty large handsome structures. I got photos of them.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

And I also came across a couple of different California Ground Squirrels including a very young, small one spoking its head out of its burrow. It ventured out a little bit further while I watched it, but never left the edge of the front door. 

Young California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi, peeping out of its burrow.

I also found the chubby adult ground squirrel who’s blind on one side.  I’d seen her before but wasn’t able to get many photos of her.  Today, she was a little more cooperative.  I notice that she tended to rock and swivel a bit whenever she was standing still (like an owl moving its head to get a better view of what it’s looking at).  I think that helps her with depth perception.  She’s able to maneuver all right and is obviously well fed… so her blindness isn’t interfering too much with her life. What a strong gal.

The “bee tree” is still full of bees. For some reason that makes me really happy. Lots of life going on in there.

Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera, in their hive in a tree.

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed home.  On my way out, I saw one of my naturalist graduates, Eric, standing near the entrance to the preserve with some other people.  I didn’t want to interrupt his conversation, so I kept heading to my car. As I got to it, he came up to me to say “hi” and give me a hug.  He’s now a docent at Effie Yeaw and also works with the California Native Plants Society.  I’m so happy he’s being able to continue and expand on the use of his naturalist skills.

Species List:

  1. Alder Tongue Gall Fungus, Taphrina alni
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  4. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  5. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  6. California Buckeye Chestnut, Aesculus californica
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  9. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  10. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  11. Cooper’s Hawk, Acipiter cooperii
  12. Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
  13. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  14. Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera
  15. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  16. Olive Tree, Olea europaea
  17. Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  18. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  19. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  20. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  21. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  22. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  23. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  24. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis

Avoiding the Crowd, 09-22-19

I went over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk — and forgot that this was their “Nature Fest” day.  D’oh! My bad. As early as it was, they’d already blocked off the parking lot (so I parked on the road) and were having vendors come in, so there were a lot of food trucks and stuff. 

I walked through where they were setting up chairs and display tables and past the huge fish mobile fish tank the Department of Fish and Wildlife had brought with them (full of live bass, trout and salmon) before I was able to get into the trails.  The weather was nice though: 55º when I got there and about 77º when I left; sunny and breezy.  It was actually pretty much perfect for the “Nature Fest” thing.

Because there was so much noise and movement in the front of the preserve, the wildlife was pretty much invisible, so I didn’t see a lot.

CLICK HERE for the album of photos.

I did see a few deer hiding out in the bushes, and at one point the mama with her twin fawns came up from the river onto the trails near me, but they all looked panicked by the noise and after their initial startle when they saw me, they took off.  I got a couple of photos of one of the fawns, but not much else. And the fawn I was able to get a photo of was the one I’d seen before with a gash down its nose.  Its nose is now pretty much healed, and it looked like he’d just lost the scab.  So… yay!

Fawn and mama Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

There were Killdeer, some Common Merganser ducks, and a Great Blue Egret (quite a distance away from me up the bank) on the river as well as a couple of fly-fishing fishermen.  The water’s shallower and moving more slowly now to accommodate salmon, and it made me wonder if some of the deer from the preserve didn’t cross it to get away from the noise of the festivities. I got a short video snippet of one of the female Mergansers fishing in the river: they move along with the current with their face underneath the surface of the water to look for prey. 

A female Common Merganser, Mergus merganser

I cut my walk short and was only out there for about 2½ hours. As I was walking out, I was greeted by one of my naturalist class graduates, Charlie Russel. He had an unna-boot on one of his feet, and jokingly told me that a gorilla had stepped on his foot during his recent trip to Africa. (He got some amazing shots on that trip!) But then he admitted that he had tendon sprain in that foot, and had ignored it on his trip, but was now paying the price for that.

I also caught a glimpse of The Other Mary (Mary Messenger) at the outer parking lot getting set up for her shift the day.  She later sent me a photo of her with one of the animal ambassadors, a skunk.  She said she could use it for this year’s Christmas card. Hah! I love that!

Fellow volunteer Trail Walker, The Other Mary (Mary Messenger) and friend

Species List:

  1. Alder Tongue Gall Fungus, Taphrina alni
  2. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  3. California Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum
  4. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  5. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  6. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  7. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  8. Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa
  9. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  10. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  11. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  12. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  13. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  14. Meadow Spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius
  15. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  16. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  17. Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua [cocoons]
  18. Sticky Goldenrod, Solidago simplex
  19. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  20. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  21. Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium

Between Seasons at the River Bend, 09-20-19

Around 6:30 am, my friend and fellow naturalist, Roxanne Moger, headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk.  It was about 55º when we got to the river and only made it into the high 80’s by the late afternoon.

 We’re between seasons right now, so there wasn’t a whole lot of anything new or exciting to see.  We joked that you know you’re desperate when you’re taking photos of empty moth cocoons and dried up plants.  Hah!  One thing we found that was new to Roxanne were the galls of the Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga saicisbrassiciodes.  When the midge lays its eggs on the willow, the willow responds by growing leaves around each egg in the shape of a “flower”.  They’re actually quite lovely.  I was happy to find them.

Galls of the Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga saicisbrassiciodes

We came across some lovely Wand Buckwheat, Eriogonum roseum.  They were growing up along the riverbed showing off their tiny pink faces.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I also got a few good photos of the Woolly Oak Aphids, Stegophylla brevirostris, on a leaf. I was also able to get a little video snippet of them trying to lumber along while exuding honeydew from their backsides.  (Nature can be unintentionally humorous sometimes.  Hah!)

Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla brevirostris, on the lead of an Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni, exuding honeydew from their backsides.
Video of the same aphids taken with my cell phone.

And we also came across these remarkable dark iridescent blue beetles that were swarming and chowing down on some of the plants.  I believe they’re Metallic Flea Beetles, and I think the specific species is the Sand Willow Flea Beetle, Altica bimarginata. Very cool.

A swarm of Sand Willow Flea Beetles, Altica bimarginata.

CLICK HERE for a short video snippet of the beetles that I took with my cell phone and its clip-on macro lens.

We walked for about 2-1/2 hours and then headed home,stopping for breakfast along the way.

Species List:

  1. Ash Flower Gall Mite, Eriophyes fraxinivorus
  2. Assassin Bug, Zelus luridus
  3. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  4. California Brickellbush, Brickellia californica
  5. California Buckeye Chestnut, Aesculus californica
  6. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceusI
  7. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  8. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  9. California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  10. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  11. Chinese Praying Mantis, Tenodera sinensis [ootheca]
  12. Chinese Tallow tree, Triadica sebifera
  13. Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea
  14. Convoluted Gall Wasp, Andricus confertus
  15. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  16. Crown Whitefly, Aleuroplatus coronata
  17. European Skipper, Thymelicus lineola [black tips on antennae]
  18. Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus
  19. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  20. Goodding’s Willow, Salix gooddingii
  21. Gouty Stem Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercussuttoni
  22. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  23. Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
  24. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  25. Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  26. Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis, 2nd Generation
  27. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  28. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 1st Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  29. Narrowleaf Willow, Salix exigua
  30. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri
  31. Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  32. Pennyroyal, Penny Royal, Mentha pulegium
  33. Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculusI
  34. Purpletop Vervain, Verbena bonariensis
  35. Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
  36. Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens
  37. Rust Fungus, Puccinia sp.
  38. Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua [cocoons]
  39. Sand Willow Flea Beetle, Altica bimarginata
  40. Sandhill Skipper, Polites sabuleti sabuleti
  41. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  42. Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria elegans
  43. Tarweed, Common Madia, Madia elegans
  44. Unidentified Vervain, Verbena sp.
  45. Velvety Tree Ant, Liometopum occidentale
  46. Wand Buckwheat, Eriogonum roseum
  47. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  48. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  49. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  50. Willow Apple Gall Wasp, Pontania californica
  51. Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga saicisbrassiciodes
  52. Willow Stem Gall Wasp, Euura exiguae
  53. Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla brevirostris

Some New Insects, 09-17-19

I headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my walk.  It was a lovely 51º at the river and got up to about 84º by the late afternoon. We’re supposed to have a little rain tomorrow, so this was an “in between the storms” day, sunny, bright and little breezy.

There was actually a little bit of fog on the ground when I first arrived at the preserve, which I really enjoy.  And to kind of follow the fog, I took a slightly different route than I normally would.  Because we’re between seasons right now, there wasn’t a whole lot of anything new or different to see, but Nature always shows you SOMETHING, and the exercise is good for me.

  When I stopped to get some photos of a young doe and her fawn several yards away from the trail, a flock of female Wild Turkeys decided to have a dominance fight right there and then.  One hen was chasing another; they were running this way and that way, scrambling in circles, jumping up to kick one another while the other birds ran around gobbling and clucking.  It freaked the doe out so much that she ran behind a tree to get away from them, leaving her fawn to pretty much fend for itself.  And the fawn wasn’t sure what to do. He kept trying to sidestep the noisy crowd of turkeys, and eventually put himself among some fallen branches and high weeds to keep them from coming near him.  Poor thing!  It was actually kind of humorous.  I tried getting some video snippets, but the action sometimes went too fast for the camera to keep up.

CLICK HERE for a video snippet of the deer and turkeys.
CLICK HERE for another video snippet of the deer and turkeys.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

 Another “dang I missed it!” shot came up when I saw a California Ground Squirrel rushing toward me with its mouth full of dried grass.  Just as I focused on it, it ducked out of sight into its burrow.  The Ground Squirrels don’t really hibernate in the winter (because it doesn’t get cold enough) but they do line parts of their burrows with grasses to sleep on and stay warm.

In another spot, I found a HUGE orb-weaver spider’s web with the big orangey-colored spider sitting in the middle of it.  The web was about a yard tall and 2 feet wide.  Really big.  I got out my spritz bottle and covered the web with a mist of water so I could photograph it better.  The spider didn’t seem to mind; it didn’t even budge.

Western Spotted Orbweaver Spider, Neoscona oaxacensis, and her web.

            I also came across a couple of dragonflies.  One, a female Variegated Meadowhawk, was sitting on a naked branch with her wings arched forward toward her face, her back to the sun, trying to warm up her flight gear.  The other one, a female Red Rock Skimmer (the first one I’ve ever seen), was hanging from a tree like a Christmas ornament, warming up as much of its body as it could at one time. Her tail has a very intricate mosaic pattern on it, and her wings lacked the red “stain” that the males’ have.

A female Red Rock Skimmer Dragonfly, Paltothemis lineatipes

Speaking of dragonflies: I’ve mentioned Kathy Biggs several times in my posts and emails because she’s our local expert on dragonflies and damselflies. I recently found this old article on her that kind of exemplifies how everyday people can nurture their curiosity and become naturalists and experts without any advanced degrees or formal education – which is exactly what the Certified California Naturalist program is about.  CLICK HERE for the article.

As I was leaving the preserve, I stopped to look at the Showy Milkweed plants that are coming back after they were kind of savagely cut down by the gardeners (to eradicate the mildew that was affecting the plants).  On one of them I found a clutch of Ladybeetle eggs, and on another one, I found a rather showy insect I’d never seen before: a Hover Fly Parasite Wasp, Diplazon laetatorius.  It seems most of the parasitic wasps are tiny, as was this one.  They lay their eggs in the larvae of other insects.  For this parasite, its host are the larvae of syrphid flies (Hover Flies); and the syrphid fly larvae are “aphidophagous”, that is, they eat aphids.  So, where there are lots of aphids, you see lots of Ladybeetle larvae and Hover Fly larvae… and the parasitic wasps follow.  Smart.            

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed home

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Black Walnut Tree, Juglans nigra
  3. California Brickellbush, Brickellia californica
  4. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  5. Clustered Gall Wasp, Andricus brunneus
  6. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  7. Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea [eggs]
  8. Common Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
  9. Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens [eggs]
  10. Convoluted Gall Wasp, Andricus confertus
  11. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  12. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis [female]
  13. Crystalline Gall Wasp, Andricus crystallinus
  14. Fleabane, Seaside Daisy, Erigeron glaucus
  15. Grey Flesh Fly, Sarcophaga bullata
  16. Hover Fly Parasite Wasp, Diplazon laetatorius
  17. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  18. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  19. Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii
  20. Plate Gall Wasp, Liodora pattersonae
  21. Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculus
  22. Red Rock Skimmer Dragonfly, Paltothemis lineatipes [female]
  23. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  24. Saucer Gall Wasp, Andricus gigas, 1st Generation, unisexual
  25. Sudden Oak Death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum
  26. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  27. Trashline Orb Weaver Spider, Cyclosa conica
  28. Two-Horned Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus dubiosus
  29. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  30. Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum
  31. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  32. Western Spotted Orbweaver Spider, Neoscona oaxacensis
  33. Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis

Zoo Day, 09-15-19

Around 8:30 I decided to head out to the Sacramento Zoo.  Haven’t had a zoo day for a while, and the weather was supposed to behave itself today: a low of 61º and a high of 84º.

I got to the zoo just as it opened.  I didn’t know this was going to be Girl Scout Day, though, and there were m’jillions of the little ferrets ev-ery-where!  I tried to stay in areas where they weren’t and was pretty successful.  I didn’t dare go in the reptile house, though.  Too many people squeezing through it.

Remember, if you go to the zoo from now through 2020, if you drop your token into the wishing well with the Black Bear on it, Tuleyome will get more funding for its habitat restoration and wildlife study work at the Silver Spur Ranch in Lake County. CLICK HERE to learn more about that project.

Dropping a token into this wishing well in the front of the zoo will make Tuleyome eligible for more funding for its Silver Spur Ranch project.

The Wolf’s Guenons have another newborn, and the spindly baby was scrambling all over the enclosure – always close enough to mom so she could keep an eye on him, but not so close that she could grab him and make him behave. Smart kid! 

The baby Wolf’s Guenon

When he got close to the chain link wall that abuts the Mongoose Lemur enclosure, the lemurs came close to check him out.  Then three of the adult Wolf’s Guenons put themselves between the baby and the mongooses (mongeese?) and started growling and barking at them until the mongooses backed off. Icky neighbors. I’ve been in that situation before but didn’t have helper monkeys to defend me. Hah!

CLICK HERE to see the full album of photos.

I checked in on Padme the Aardvark, and she was sleeping in her cave.  It looked, though, like she was sleeping with a cat snuggled in against its chin(!) but I couldn’t tell for sure.

What do you think Padme has tucked up under her chin?

The otters were showing off, swimming and then hopping out of the water to stand up on their hind legs and look at the crowd.  The meerkats across the path form the otters, not to be outdone, did something similar, only they dug in the gravel before standing up to stare at people.  Hah!

I didn’t get to see the lions, but I could hear dad roaring from inside the building where he and the female were being kept while the keepers finished cleaning their enclosure. He was so loud that I could hear him all the way over on the opposite side of the zoo. 

The Snow Leopard baby, Coconut, was out with his mom, Misha, and he’s almost bigger than she is now!  Not a baby anymore.  But he’s still a playful kitten inside, bouncing all over the place, pouncing on his mom, rolling around.  He’s so fun to watch… And Misha is so patient with him. What a good mama.

The baby Snow Leopard, Coconut, isn’t such a “baby” anymore.

The sloth was out – and she’s hardly ever out.  Her name is Edwina and she’s 25 years old.  She was having some breakfast and then disappeared, very slowly, into her “cave”.

One of the Red Pandas was also out and actually moving about. Usually, when I see them, they’re sleeping — if they’re out at all. This one groomed himself and looked around and scratched… Not terribly exciting, but at least it made for some fairly good photos.

Red Panda

I saw the Okapi, who is still very stand-offish and hides in the shadows so you can’t get any good photos of him.  There were supposed to be a pair of Black Crowned Cranes in with him, but I didn’t see them.

Both the chimpanzees and orangutans were out, and some of them were “posing”.  One of the orangs, though, was sitting in a doorway in her enclosure with a blanket over her head. She’d peek out now and then, but really looked like she just wanted to sleep in this morning.

I walked for about 2 ½ hours before heading home. but before I left, I stopped at the cafe and had some nachos for lunch, ad went into the gift store and got a big plushie sloth. Hah!

Still very much a kid at heart.

Species List:

  1. Aardvark, Orycteropus afer
  2. African Lion, Panthera leo [heard the male roaring]
  3. American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
  4. Azure-winged Magpie, Cyanopica cyanus
  5. Caribbean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber
  6. Chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes
  7. Eastern Bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci
  8. Emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae
  9. Fulvous Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
  10. Greater Roadrunner, Geococcyx californianus
  11. Himalayan Monal, Lophophorus impejanus
  12. Linne’s Two-toed Sloth, Choloepus didactylus
  13. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  14. Masai Giraffe, Giraffa tippelskirchi
  15. Meerkat, Suricata suricatta
  16. Mongoose Lemur, Eulemur mongoz
  17. North American River Otter, Lontra canadensis
  18. Okapi, Okapia johnstoni
  19. Orange Dahlia, Dahlia sp.
  20. Passionflower ‘Betty Myles Young’, Passiflora hybrid
  21. Red Kangaroo, Macropus rufus
  22. Red Panda, Ailurus fulgens
  23. Red River Hog, Potamochoerus porcus
  24. Red-billed Hornbill, Tockus erythrorhynchus
  25. Reticulated Giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata
  26. Snow Leopard, Panthera uncia
  27. Southern Crested Screamer, Chauna torquata
  28. Southern White-faced Owl, Ptilopsis granti
  29. Spur-winged Lapwing, Vanellus spinosus
  30. Sumatran Orangutan, Pongo abelii
  31. Tawny Frogmouth, Podargus strigoides
  32. Wolf’s Guenon, Wolf’s Mona Monkey, Cercopithecus wolfi
  33. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  34. Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, Petrogale xanthopus